WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 4 here.
It looks as if Superintendent Ted Hastings has finally met his match in Line of Duty. Well, actually, he’s met his superior. Literally.
As we all know in the world of bent copper grilling, an officer under suspicion has the right to be interviewed by someone at least one rank superior to them. In Hastings’ case here in episode 5, it’s the fiercely ambitious and whip smart AC-3 head, Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael in what’s been a brilliantly ice cold performance so far by The Bletchley Circle’s Anna Maxwell Martin.
Why is he sitting the wrong side of the desk in the interview room? Well, all those suggestions of misconduct and corruption that have surrounded the man – not to mention a whole host of poor personal and professional decisions – have started to look more than a little suspicious. So much so that his own fiercely loyal team, DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) had little choice but to report his conduct to The Big Bosses. Who seem only too keen to see the senior officer’s collar felt.
This final episode was all about Hastings. Whether he turns out to be H or not (which SURELY he won’t…), this whole series has been about the man, really. Stephen Graham may have been the marquee cast signing, but this run is only really concerned with if the AC-12 boss is the secret antagonist. Why do we care so much? Well, Hastings practically is Line of Duty. And given a role here that’s more than just ‘be the boss’, the actor behind the man – Adrian Dunbar – has really grasped his opportunity to shine.
We shouldn’t be too surprised at this quality turn from Mr Dunbar. The Northern Irishman is a talented actor of some calibre, with a CV that boasts the likes of classic films such as The Crying Game and My Left Foot.
There was little to no ‘action’ action to speak of here, with the hour serving as a kind of bridge between the chaos of the past few weeks and next week’s no-doubt hectic climax. A climax that some ten-odd million people will no doubt be hooked by. This week’s instalment was really all about seeing things conspire to finally have Ted in a pair of handcuffs.
That said, this was high drama. As ever. Is Line of Duty technically the best drama on television? Arguably not. Is it a little on the overblown side and a wee bit overhyped? Perhaps. Is it nonetheless gripping and absolutely unmissable TV? Absolutely.
Next week’s feature-length conclusion might not exactly be grounded in reality necessarily, but by jove it’ll be tense. The assumption we all probably have is that we’ll learn the truth about Hastings and H once the 90 minutes are up. We wouldn’t be so sure, though…
Two more runs of Line of Duty were confirmed by the Beeb recently, so there’s every chance that we could all be left hanging from a very tall and precarious cliff come next Sunday night. But before we even get to that cliff, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of twists, turns and forks in the road.
UCOs, OCGs, AFOs… It’s been an acronym-filled series so far. But the main initialism concerning everyone is H. Just imagine if Hastings is H, though… OMG!
Did you tune in for Line of Duty series 5 episode 5? Let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below…